Leaves-1Trees sense a moment when the balance between night and day changes. The shorter days trigger the development of a suicidal hormone in each leaf which creeps down the stem to the joint with the woody twig. Here it stimulates the growth of a sphincter of brittle, hard tissue that gradually closes in on itself, cutting off the supply of sap. Thus deprived of water, the chlorophyll in the leaf disintegrates, and the colours of the leaf’s other underlying constituents are revealed, before the stem joint finally snaps and the leaf floats to the floor.

From Wildwood by Roger Deakin

I love autumn, and this passage really struck me. I’d somehow thought that it was the ‘core’ of the tree that got rid of the leaf, but it appears that it is the leaf that takes the decision to die, for the better of the whole organism.

Somehow this struck a chord. Heat. Life. Lowering sun. Falling temperatures. Ice. Thaw. New life. And so it cycles…


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3 responses to “Autumn”

  1. beautiful and haunting, too, that the death of the leaf reveals its true colors

  2. god is the quiver between holding on and falling…

  3. Glory be to God for dappled things-For skies of couple colour as a brindled cow; for rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; fresh fire coal chestnuts falls; finches’ wings; landscape plotted and pierced- fold, fallow, and plough; and all trades, their gear and tackle and trim. all things counter, original, spare, strange; whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?) with swift, slow ; sweet, sour adazzle, dim; He fathers forth whose beauty is past change: Praise him. Gerard Marley Hopkins 1844-1889